Volume 61 of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology includes an article by alumni Samantha Fladd (Ph.D. UArizona 2018) and Saul Hedquist (Ph.D. UArizon 2017), and Professor Emeritus E. Charles Adams titled “Trash Reconsidered: A Relational Approach to Deposition in the Pueblo Southwest” (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2021.101268).
Abstract: Deposition creates the archaeological record; however, the social implications of depositional practices are often overlooked, particularly when considering domestic materials found in upper room fill. In this paper, we argue that the term “trash” and its connotations mischaracterize the thought and meaning that motivate decisions about deposition, as exemplified by ethnohistoric and modern accounts of disposal within Pueblo society. Understanding the context and content of deposition can reveal important aspects of the identities, beliefs, and relationships of the individuals and groups who created them. We explore the social role of deposits at Homol’ovi I, an ancestral Hopi pueblo in northeastern Arizona, through detailed analyses of excavation data. Drawing on contemporary Hopi insights, rooms and objects are found to assume distinct social identities, specifically gender, that influence the placement of materials throughout the pueblo. We conclude that patterns of cultural deposition from all contexts have the potential to provide significant insights about the life histories, reuse, and commemoration of spaces and objects when considering archaeological contexts worldwide.
Anthro News Digest date: 03/05/2021